Beach Trash - The Dainty Squid

Beach Trash

Saturday, March 31, 2012

All this nice weather lately means I've had tons of time to gather, organize, photograph (and then throw away) beach trash. Even if I don't pick up much I do feel like I'm at least helping my fellow beach go-ers out a little bit. I hope others will help pick up trash on the beach as well, ours doesn't look like much of a paradise at the moment. You can't walk a step without finding a plastic bottle cap, or tampon applicator (I still don't understand why there are SO many at the beach) It's disgusting how much trash is actually on the beach right now. I took some outfit pictures there a few days ago and opted out of using a few of my favorites because of the amount of trash you could see in the photos, it was embarrassing! Oh hey, just taking outfit pictures at the local dump, don't mind me.

Here are some photos from my most recent beach combing expedition. 
  Is it really weird that I have favorite things to find when I'm gathering trash for these pictures? Because I totally do! Hair barrettes, figurines of little people (like plastic army men!) and things shaped like letters or numbers (like refrigerator magnets) are among the few things that I will normally spot from a distance and dash to grab.

Here two behind the scenes photos...
This basket I picked up at the thrift store was probably one of my best purchases ever. I use it for mushrooms, rocks, beach trash - everything! Plus it's super cute and makes it just look like I'm going on a picnic instead of picking up and carrying around all kinds of strange items.
You can find other beach trash posts here and here.
Hope you're having a great day! If it's a nice day where you are, you live close to the beach and have nothing to do today - why not take a trip there and help clean up the place so everyone can enjoy it just a little bit more.
xoxo

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54 thoughts

  1. Gah! I hope you kept the Heroes in a Half Shell plastic shell, that would made a rad belt buckle!! haha... love it!!

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  2. Is it odd that your 'beach trash' posts are one of my favourite posts on your blog? Maybe it's because I'm a natural hunter + gatherer too. I almost wish that our beaches had more rubbish, but they are pretty clean... sigh...haha. xx

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  3. i really love that you clean up your beach! i wish more people were like you. it's so sad to me just how much garbage can build up in places like that.

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  4. I can't believe I'm about to comment about used tampon applicators (!) but I once heard that there are so many on the beach because of all the ships (cruise ships, houseboats and others) dumping their bathroom waste into the water. I don't know if that's true or not but it would explain it. Eww.
    Oh and hey I like that little blue thing that looks like a ribcage. Neat!

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    1. Oooh! Interesting! That would make sense.

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    2. Like Janine, I can't believe I'm about to comment on tampon applicators, but I hate those plastic ones! Use the O.B. brand or at least Tampax (cardboard applicator). The invention of plastic -- in general, for all the things it's used in -- is both a blessing and a curse!

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  5. These photos are amazing! They look so pretty all laid out like that. It's interesting how the same items can look so different when put into a different context.

    Becky
    xx

    http://www.beckybedbug.com

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  6. It's so colourful! I love the turquoise piece that looks almost like a rib cage.

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  7. That trash is so colorful! Whenever I see trash on the beach it's all paper cups, cigarette butts and napkins, but apparently I'm not looking hard enough! This arrangement reminds me of this site: thingsorganizedneatly.tumblr.com. Your trash would make amazing 3D wall art!
    xoxo
    neonrattail.blogspot.com

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  8. I would've had to take the "Heroes in a half Shell" shell home. For sure.

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  9. these pictures are great! it's crazy how much junk is at the beach :P

    http://saramadebeth.wordpress.com

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  10. dear kaylah, i like how you treasure others trash. my fave line of this post:
    "Oh hey, just taking outfit pictures at the local dump, don't mind me."

    how we wish it weren't so.

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  11. What weird little things....amazing.

    http://madnessanmusings.blogspot.com/2012/03/march-wants-2012.html

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  12. I totally dig your beach trash posts! Not only do you arrange it to look like art (really!) but I get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that someone cares about the environment and is doing little things to make it better. Its a two-fer!

    Plus, can I just say that all those little bits end up in the bellies of birds and other animals. I'm a vet tech at a wildlife clinic and its so sad to lose an animal because of what humans carelessly toss on the ground and in the water. Its awesome that you encourage people to make cleaning the beach into an adventure!

    I love your blog! You find beauty in everything which is so nice to read!

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  13. oh and I totally wanted to say that I love that little red crab with the blue claws....i would have kept him, haha!

    http://heather-thebelfry.blogspot.com/

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  14. I agree with the commenters above. Your beach trash posts are some of my favourite posts!

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  15. Ha! I love this!
    I live on Lake Erie, and so I regularly comb our beaches for treasures. I love your approach to the oddball things found on the shore line. I've always said, "you haven't been to the beach until you've seen both a lighter and a plastic tampon applicators!" ...no kidding. It's grabbed my attention so much I thought of doing a series on it.

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  16. I would love to go to the beach today because the weather is perfect, but there are still a ton of college kids on spring break down there. So, parking is a nightmare and there is no place to put our stuff :p Just something I gotta live with since Florida is such a tourist hot spot. On the bright side, April and May are the best months to go, all the spring breakers are gone, and the northern tourists haven't arrived en masse!

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  17. ahhh yeah what is with the lake erie trash! i feel like its only erie that collects that crap! i always see used condoms ewwwwwww

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  18. I know it's a pile of plastic trash that was originally littered, but I can't help but marvel at how whimsical and sweet and pretty a tableau it creates! CUTE! I especially love the ninja turtle thing.

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  19. Heroes in a half shell.. Turtle Power!!! yes!

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  20. I love these posts. Abandoned items are so intriguing. I think about their secret lives on the beach and the sunny days that they got there and were forgotten or lost in the waves. Love seeing the behind the scene photos. Great idea using your pretty picnic basket instead of wasteful garbage bags. Happy Saturday!

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  21. Heroes in a half shell! I hope you kept that, I would have. Turtle power!

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  22. even though this is a post about the trash found at the beach, it still makes me miss living so close!

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  23. Neon beach trash, JUST in time for spring. Oh how dare you for following the trends! ;] ;]

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  24. I think we're lucky in NZ as our beaches generally don't have copious amounts of trash on them.. (except the ones near cities, such as Auckland. I remember collecting masses of plastic stuff there when I was a teenager a few times and making stuff with them)
    Have you ever seen the Find Make Do blog? Betty Jo makes loads of cool arrangements with beach finds..
    http://linoforest.blogspot.co.nz/2009/12/day-at-beach.html

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  25. I really hope you kept the teenage mutant ninja turtle shell, because that thing is ace! It would look pretty cool on your shelf!

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  26. I can't believe so many people just leave their garbage everywhere. I've picked up a few interesting things (well, I think they're interesting) off the beach or near the railroad tracks before, but not in this quantity. I actually love the teenage mutant ninja turtles shell, I probably would have taken that home, haha.

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  27. It's sad that people leave garbage at the beach but it's nice what you do. Isn't that yellow ball with holes a cat toy?
    You inspired me to take a picture of things I found on the beach but luckily I found shells and coral pieces instead of trash :)

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  28. These would make excellent paintings.

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  29. The "heroes in a half shell" is the best! Hahaha I love it.
    - Mandi (www.lifeinbeta.com)

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  30. I wish that the beaches I go to ever had trash this nice! I've never found anything cute there - mainly just discarded needles, eek!

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  31. If it's not too personal, what beaches do you go to? The beach-trash where I live is mostly broken glass and washed up fish.

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    Replies
    1. Oh woweee, you're close! I'm not going to give away my favorite but I do really like the one by Ashtabula Harbor!

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  32. Your beach trash posts are so interesting to me... I live in Florida and I couldn't even imagine going to the beach and finding things like this! I don't know if it's because there are people on the beach year-round or because there's more security or whatnot out every day, but I've never seen anything more interesting than a cigarette butt. :) I'm curious if I would find more beach trash at some less populated areas or private beaches? Anyway, it's interesting to get a glimpse of someone else's beach :) Thanks!

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    1. Beach security?! There's almost always no one at our beach. In the summer it still seems fairly empty. But on days where it's warm enough to walk around but not to swim there are usually only two or three other people there, if anyone at all.

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    2. We really do have beach security! We get Spring Break-ers and Summer Vacationers, so it's pretty crowded like... April-September. And even when it's less crowded there are still always people! Maybe one day I'll make it way up north to see this strange breed of beach :)

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  33. AHHHH OMG!!! I TOTALLY LOVE THE TMNT PIECE! That is just an amazing find.

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  34. This beach trash post reminds me of being a lil guy and reading Ranger Rick magazine. I remember being grossed out, sad, and kind of intrigued when they would feature a collection of beach trash and these photos really brought me back to that place in my young life.

    What's also funny is that, if these were bottles or pieces of sea glass or metal or something- we would probably be ooh-ing and ahh-ing over them. Like, when I visited Dead Horse Bay (http://atlasobscura.com/place/dead-horse-bay) last year, I was a kid in a candy store... except the candy was actual garbage. Really old garbage. So, sometimes, I wonder what makes sea glass and old, metal toys beautiful, romantic, and worthy of being collected but plastic combs and cigarette butts and tampon applicators are just gross trash. Is it because plastic is less appealing of a substance or because time has removed us from the context of the old stuff being equivocal to today trash? Will folks 100 years from now be all like, "oooh. A rare, Duracell Lithium AAA battery! Let's put it on the book shelf!"?

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  35. I live by the beach (in Australia) and my partner and I collect left behind thongs/flip flops. We still aren't what kind of art we are going to make with them.:D

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    1. That's interesting! I see so many flip flops at our beach.

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  36. Oh man! I just burst out giggling and couldn't stop after "Oh hey, just taking outfit pictures at the local dump, don't mind me."
    I can totally picture the way you would have said that and now I can't stop laughing.

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  37. Look http://www.flickr.com/photos/oh_its_mari/6890571564/in/photostream :)

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  38. I think it is so awesome that you clean up your beach AND you find a way to actually make it look pretty in the photos :)

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  39. have you seen steve mcphereson's work? he also collects plastic from the beach and makes collections. very very cool. he calls it "marine plastic".xx

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  40. This is amazing! Brilliant idea and photographs are great (not to mention how cool it is to give the environment a little help in the process). You should look into photographer David Liittschwager - sort of reminds me of his work!

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  41. I love it when people have fun with the little things! It may beach trash but I just have so much fun watching how you have a great time collecting it! Plus you're giving environment a little help unlike those who throw all that trash at the beach :) keep posting more photos, I love taking a peak at these little beach adventures of yours!

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  42. This is so swell. It's super swell. It's super awesome swell. I love it so so so much. Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

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  43. You should really make your own I Spy book! It's too bad they don't sell well anymore :( evil iPods/Pads/Phones/Kindles!You're really lucky that you find such colorful trash, over here in England we only have bits of doggy bags...

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  44. Hey, if you happen to find a pair of glasses, I lost mine in the Atlantic Ocean about 35 years ago! Real sea glass for sure! lol

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